42

“Good Morning,” said Deep Thought at last.
“Er..good morning, O Deep Thought” said Loonquawl nervously, “do you have…er, that is…”
“An Answer for you?” interrupted Deep Thought majestically. “Yes, I have.”
The two men shivered with expectancy. Their waiting had not been in vain.
“There really is one?” breathed Phouchg.
“There really is one,” confirmed Deep Thought.
“To Everything? To the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything?”
“Yes.”
Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children.
“And you’re ready to give it to us?” urged Loonsuawl.
“I am.”
“Now?”
“Now,” said Deep Thought.
They both licked their dry lips.
“Though I don’t think,” added Deep Thought. “that you’re going to like it.”
“Doesn’t matter!” said Phouchg. “We must know it! Now!”
“Now?” inquired Deep Thought.
“Yes! Now…”
“All right,” said the computer, and settled into silence again. The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable.
“You’re really not going to like it,” observed Deep Thought.
“Tell us!”
“All right,” said Deep Thought. “The Answer to the Great Question…”
“Yes..!”
“Of Life, the Universe and Everything…” said Deep Thought.
“Yes…!”
“Is…” said Deep Thought, and paused.
“Yes…!”
“Is…”
“Yes…!!!…?”
“Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Yesterday it was my birthday. (I hung one more year on the line.) Okay, time to stop quoting for a bit. Yesterday, I turned 42. Which is an age I rather like, since 42 has mystical significance for my people (see above). But, as long as we’re on the subject of Life, the Universe, and Everything:

On Saturday, I was at a retirement barbecue at the home of one of my colleagues. It was a beautiful day, they have a lovely home and gorgeous, drought-tolerant yard. My kids were having a great time, and my husband was kid-wrangling so I could talk to other adults. The subject of my birthday came up, and the lead tech from my department asked me, “So, what do you want for your birthday?”

I thought for a second, and then said, in all honesty, “Nothing. I have everything I want.”

The cool thing is that it’s absolutely true. I have everything I want and need. It’s a great place to be. Sure, I have goals. Tenure, which will probably NOT happen early this week (two committees in favor, one against), but certainly will happen next year. We want to buy a new home in the next year, which will be a slog given the market, but will also happen. Overall, though, I have a great life, and am content. I have a husband I love, who is a great husband and father. I have two awesome children, who are smart and funny and healthy and minimally destructive. I have enough money, and a home that will provide what we need to move into a new one soon. I have colleagues I enjoy working with and the job I always wanted. It is almost summer, and I’m not teaching for the first time in five years.

To quote another of my favorite artists, life’s been good to me (so far).

So, yeah. I do sorta feel like I have The Answer. How was your weekend?

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